Online gift basket business thrives through pandemic.
Imagine getting a gift basket delivered that takes your breath away. That is Joyce Reid’s goal.Reid is a very successful businesswoman based in Flagstaff, but is somewhat of a secret because her business is online. She owns and operates Creative Gifts to Go LLC, which is a national corporate and personal gift service. Packages include holiday presents, house-warming gifts, teddy bears and Maple Ridge Farms corporate gifts.
Most of the gifts are sold and delivered throughout the United States and some are ordered from other countries. However, she enjoys hand-delivering orders in Flagstaff because she likes to see the recipient’s response.
Reid, who has had the business since 1992, says she loves having the knowledge that her business helps others feel good and build relationships.
“I also enjoy the challenge of creating and growing a business in today’s technological world. I started the business as a vendor in the Carriage House Antique Mall, but expanded to the internet when it became a popular venue.”
Reid also creates many of her gifts but has grown her business in what she calls the “lazy way,” by bringing in partner companies that make and ship some of the gifts she offers.
“This is the only way I could sell as many gifts as I do without having to have a warehouse of employees,” she said.
In fact, she’s written an ebook for her industry about “building your business the lazy man’s way.”
Formerly a small business counselor with SCORE, Reid reached her high level of success by educating herself about how to do things that were not available when she was younger.
“For example, I build and maintain my own websites. Networking with others in my industry and…at gift basket conventions has enabled me to see what others across the country are doing and how I could integrate some of these ideas into my own business. My business has always been a work in progress.”
The business stays busy year-round, but orders increase during the holiday season. Reid also experienced a boost in sales during the pandemic, as more people began ordering online. Two of her most popular gifts during COVID have been two different gift boxes: One is “All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes” and the other is a thank you for medical professionals. And her business continues to grow.
After 30 years in operation with Creative Gifts to Go, Reid has no plans to retire. She loves the excitement and challenges of the business as well as knowing that she is helping others.
“The gift baskets create smiles for both personal and corporate customers,” she said.
Prices start at $25. “My custom gift baskets allow people to order in whatever price range they like.”
Currently, Reid is filling an order for a $200 gift that came from Australia and is going to someone in Flagstaff. She says her Maple Ridge Farms gifts are very popular during the holiday season.
Reid also gives back to the gift basket industry by owning and operating GiftBasketNetwork.com and GiftBusinessOwners.com, which provide forums, information, e-books, a directory and monthly digital magazine for the industry by subscription. She also has been a guest speaker at gift basket conventions.
Reid, who previously owned and operated the statewide newspaper Arizona Singles, attributes her success to family support. She said her husband, Ron, has been key to helping her when business became overwhelming. Through the years, her grandchildren would love to help by putting gift baskets together when they came to visit.
To find out more about Creative Gifts to Go, visit shopcreativegifts.com.
By Stan Bindell, FBN